This week saw some exciting news for the autistic community. Families affected by autism will soon be able to apply for a blue parking badge. This will mean that they can use bays reserved for disabled people. The change is a result of many years of campaigning by autism charities. Authorities and organisations are becoming increasingly aware that not all disabilities are visible. This article will examine the new changes and discuss how to apply for a blue badge.
How Can Autistic People Qualify for a Blue Badge?
It is important to note that not autistic people want, or need, a blue parking badge. However, for many families, the new changes will make a huge difference to their quality of life. For example, a family with a severely autistic child may currently be unable to leave the house if their child has a poor sense of danger, or is prone to unpredictable meltdowns. Some autistic children will bolt and run away, causing danger to themselves and road users alike. Children with autism may also be prone to destructive behaviour.
For the reasons outlined above, we can see why the new changes have been made. Currently, a family affected by autism can apply for a blue badge if they:
1: Cannot take a journey without risk of serious harm or psychological distress.
2: Have 10 points on the PIP mobility component if planning and making a journey causes significant distress.
How to Apply for a Blue Badge for Autism
The new rules will come into effect from the 30 August 2019. From this date, families will be able to apply online for a blue badge under the new criteria. The website is https://www.gov.uk/apply-blue-badge.
The National Autistic Society also have some useful advice about the application process for a blue badge on their website. It also has some real-life stories that show how families will benefit from having a blue badge.
New Blue Badge Rules Help Autistic Families
The new rules are overwhelmingly positive and will give families affected by autism a new lease of freedom. Individuals with autism, as well as those affected by anxiety, OCD or dementia will also benefit. It is encouraging to see how small changes like these can make a big difference for autistic children and their carers.